After accusations of inciting terror in Israel during the Temple Mount crisis, the Qatari-controlled network now finds itself booted from the Jewish state.
On Sunday, Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara announced an official request to revoke the credentials of Al Jazeera journalists in Israel and to shutter the company’s Jerusalem headquarters.
The move was prompted in large part by Al Jazeera’s dubious coverage of the events surrounding the recent Temple Mount crisis, which was initially sparked by three Arab terrorists who murdered in cold blood two Israeli policemen on duty at the holy site. After the Israeli government installed much-needed security measures on the Temple Mount compound, where the terrorists had stashed their weapons in the Al-Aqsa Mosque prior to the attack, massive rioting and violence by Palestinians ensued.
Most tragically, a Palestinian terrorist barged into the home of the Salomon family on Sabbath eve and stabbed to death three family members who had gathered to celebrate the birth of a baby boy.
‘I Speak Arabic…You Cannot Fool Me’
At a press conference announcing the actions against Al Jazeera, Kara explained, “I speak Arabic and you cannot fool me with Al Jazeera English. I know how to identify when a report becomes incitement instead of freedom of expression,” reported TPS. While Kara declared that Israel views freedom of speech as a “supreme value,” he concluded that Al Jazeera had clearly crossed the line by doing nothing less than “support[ing] terrorism.”
In addition to revoking Al Jazeera’s credentials for both its Arabic and English channel journalists, the network’s satellite transmission into Israel will also be blocked moving forward. Kara also announced plans to advance legislation empowering the government to decommission news outlets that disseminate content that constitutes incitement to harm Israeli citizens.
The move followed criticism of Al Jazeera from a variety of sources, including an official from the United Arab Emirates who accused Al Jazeera of anti-Semitism in its coverage.
Al Jazeera’s impending closure in Israel is only the latest setback for the media conglomerate, a state-funded Qatari operation whose journalists are widely viewed as lacking editorial independence. The network also recently closed its American operations. While the “economic landscape” and its abysmal ratings were officially cited as the reasons for the network’s failure in the US, it had also been rocked by a lawsuit accusing management of running an organization rife with sexism, discrimination, and anti-Semitism.
By: Ebin Sandler, World Israel News